Excess belly fat doesn’t just make our clothing tight, it also hurts our health. That’s because belly fat, also known as visceral fat, forms around our vital organs, and can trigger chronic inflammation, which raises our risk for heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. Here’s how to get rid of dangerous belly fat, courtesy of our friend, cardiologist Dr. Mehmet Oz:
First, avoid high-glycemic foods that digest really quickly, like white rice and white bread. Those foods turn into sugar in our bodies and cause our blood sugar to spike, and then crash. And that crash triggers high levels of the stress hormone, cortisol, to course through our bodies. And it’s that stress response causes us to store excess belly fat. Plus, the constant up and down of blood sugar is the first step on the road to Type 2 diabetes. The fix: Choose low-glycemic foods, like beans, lentils and chickpeas. The protein and fiber helps them digest more slowly, which keeps blood sugar stable. If you want to know which foods are high glycemic and which are low, log in to www.GlycemicIndex.com.
Another belly-fat-buster: Dairy products. Because when we’re low on calcium, it triggers a hormone that tells the body to store belly fat. So, try for the minimum daily calcium requirement, which is 1,000 milligrams for adults. And know this: The calcium from milk, cheese and yogurt is better for weight loss than the calcium from supplements.
Also, don’t be afraid of fat, because the good kind, which is called monounsaturated, actually reduces belly fat. You can get it from foods like olive oil, avocados and nuts. People who get 25-percent of their calories from mono-fats gain almost zero visceral fat, because mono-fats block inflammation in the body.
Finally: Do weight training every other day. Because building muscle tone can slow the production of belly fat by as much as 33-percent.